A woman has been convicted of first-degree murder for the grisly killing of a homeless woman who was kidnapped and lit on fire in the parking lot of San Francisco’s Candlestick Park in 2007, prosecutors said.
A San Francisco Superior Court jury deliberated for just four hours before finding Mia Sagote, 36, guilty of first-degree murder with special circumstances for kidnapping and torture on Tuesday.
On Jan. 12, 2007, Sagote and an accomplice kidnapped 49-year-old Jill May from the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood and drove her out to the empty Candlestick parking lot, where Sagote allegedly doused her with gasoline and lit her on fire.
Sagote, a known drug dealer in the Tenderloin, was apparently angry at May for reporting to police that Sagote had stripped her naked and robbed her the previous day over a drug debt owed by May’s longtime boyfriend, prosecutors said.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Swart said Sagote admitted to investigators that she robbed May but denied killing her.
However, a sock found at the scene near May’s body matched one found in the trunk of Sagote’s Mazda, Swart said.
He said Sagote also made incriminating statements during phone calls to her boyfriend from jail, while her cellphone records also showed she was in certain locations at times that matched the timeline of the killing.
Sagote faces life in prison without the possibility of parole when she is sentenced on Dec. 17.
“The vile nature of this execution can only be characterized as pure, unadulterated evil,” District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement. “Burning another person alive violates every principle of a modern society.”
Sagote’s accomplice, Leslie Siliga, pleaded guilty earlier this year to voluntary manslaughter and kidnapping charges and is awaiting sentencing. Prosecutors said she is expected to receive a 14-year sentence.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News